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Mike Frizzell and his wife stand in a wooded area with their four children.
Texas A&M University former student Mike Frizzell '04 and his family. | Image: Courtesy of Mike Frizzell.

Mike Frizzell ’04, former student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, is chief technology officer of the Aggie 100’s No. 1, fastest-growing Aggie owned business, Albers Aerospace. 

Albers Aerospace engineering firm specializes in defense related applications.

Frizzell explains, “We are an action-oriented engineering firm that supports our customers throughout the life cycle of their systems. From up-front requirement analysis, rapid prototype development, automated test and evaluation, through production and operations support. Our innovative technology division is moving the needle in corrosion prevention with some laser tech and we’re building a platform for the air mobility space. As I tell my kids, ‘Daddy’s working on a flying car.’” 

Frizzell’s job in particular as chief technology officer gives him oversight of internal research and development projects at Albers Aerospace. This includes laser texturing technology, advanced teaming (collaboration between manned and unmanned aircraft), and Vortex, their vertical take-off and landing concept in the urban air mobility marketplace with military and commercial applications.

“I work with the technology team to come up with a plan for next year’s investment to present to our executives. I also serve as quality control on program technical deliverables. I’m charged with recruiting, development and retention for our engineers. We are building and implementing a curriculum for developing systems engineers in our ranks. We train, coach and mentor aerospace, mechanical or electrical engineers and make them a systems engineer,” he said.

The road to success for Frizzell was a winding one. One thing he always knew, however, was that he was going to be an Aggie. He was able to go to student bonfire while he was still in high school, and was encouraged by his father, a Texas Instruments engineer at the time, to investigate computer and electrical engineering. By the time he was applying to colleges, Frizzell was convinced that there was no need to apply to any other universities. Texas A&M was where he needed to be.

As an Aggie, Frizzell worked hard in his classes. When classes let out for summer and winter breaks, he spent his time at co-ops and internships apprenticing under data professionals and programmers who’d been doing the job for 20 years, gaining valuable insight and experience.

Frizzell was so successful in these internships that he had multiple competitive offers open to him at graduation. He could go on to start his career and continue his education at Johns Hopkins University with the Applied Physics Laboratory or go to work at Raytheon Technologies. He chose Raytheon and stayed there with a brief interlude for a total of 12 years. During that time, he rose to the role of principal systems engineer, no small feat for a decade of work. Frizzell credits his internship experience for fast-tracking him through his entry-level career positions. He also expressed gratitude for his many mentors at Raytheon who guided and shaped his career.

After his time at Raytheon Technologies, Frizzell worked as a director in the nonprofit technology sector, leading web and mobile application development. He later began working as a freelancer one day a week with John Albers ’90 (industrial engineering) and Cliff Aldredge ’04 (computer engineering), who were building a growing engineering company. Two years later, in July of 2021, Frizzell joined Albers at the Albers Aerospace fulltime as their chief technology officer.

He has some advice for young Aggies heading out into the workforce. 

“I encourage all engineers to get out and intern and co-op whenever you can,” he said. “You gain more insight on the job in a few weeks than you could in a semester in the classroom. And when you do get hired on, be humble - find a good engineer who’s been around three years and learn to be them. Contribute like them. Know what they know. When you can add value like them, you’ll be worth their paycheck.”

Lastly, Frizzell gives his thoughts on leadership.

“The biggest truth I’ve found about leadership is you have to care about people to be a leader,” he said. “You have to show empathy and then you have to be smart enough to put on your management hat, understand their skills and passion, and figure out how to best utilize your team so that together you can excel.”

Albers Aerospace

Albers Aerospace is a family of companies managing a diversified portfolio in information technology, aerospace, government and manufacturing services. They are led by a service-disabled veteran. The leadership team has backgrounds in various industries. They work directly for the government and with major prime contractors like Leidos, General Electric, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon in multidisciplinary engineering projects.